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The 30-Year-Old Spending $1 Billion To Save Crypto

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Sam Bankman-Fried

The chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd. has appointed himself the industry’s savior—and crypto investors are closely watching his moves after months of market carnage. This year, he bailed out a troubled digital-currency lender and tried to stabilize another. He acquired crypto exchanges in Canada and Japan. He appeared in magazine ads opposite supermodel Gisele Bündchen in a bid to keep mainstream investors enthusiastic about crypto despite the downturn.

That kind of speed is routine for Mr. Bankman-Fried, a 30-year-old billionaire with a mop of curly hair who sleeps a few hours a night and toys with a fidget spinner during interviews. Last year, when regulatory scrutiny of crypto led Mr. Bankman-Fried to move FTX’s headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, dozens of employees relocated to the island nation within about a month.

Mr. Bankman-Fried says his ultimate goal is to bring crypto to the masses. He wants to make FTX a household name and use the technology behind bitcoin to reinvent traditional finance, including the stock market and ordinary consumer payments.

He has a lot of work to do. More than a decade after bitcoin’s birth, proponents still struggle to explain the value of digital currencies to a broad audience. Bitcoin has fallen nearly 70% from its November peak and the crash has erased $2 trillion of value from the crypto market, hurting millions of investors.

Not all of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s moves have paid off. An investment in Japan has proved rocky for FTX. And the trading firm he owns alongside FTX, Alameda Research, took losses when it tried to prop up troubled crypto lender Voyager Digital Ltd. Alameda lent Voyager $75 million and increased its stake in the company to 9.5%—only for Voyager to file for bankruptcy less than two weeks later.

“We want to do what we can to stem contagion, and sometimes that’s going to mean that we try to help out in cases where it’s not enough,” Mr. Bankman-Fried said. “If that never happened, I’d feel that we were being way too conservative.”

Like other crypto exchanges, FTX’s core business is to facilitate the buying and selling of digital currencies, and it takes a small cut of transactions. The firm has grown into a juggernaut since it was founded three years ago. With only about 300 employees, FTX is the world’s third-biggest crypto exchange by volume, doing $9.4 billion worth of trades on an average day, according to data provider CoinGecko.

The firm made net income of $388 million on $1.02 billion of revenue last year, according to a person familiar with the matter. It has stayed profitable in 2022 even as crypto prices slumped, Mr. Bankman-Fried said. FTX was valued at $32 billion during its last funding round in January.

Now, with bitcoin hovering around $21,000—roughly in line with its level in late 2020, before last year’s big bull market—Mr. Bankman-Fried says the worst is over.

“Anything could happen, obviously, but as far as I know, we’ve seen most of the contagion already flushed out of the system,” he said.

Expanding an empire

The plea for help from the CEO of BlockFi Inc., a digital-currency lender, came on a Saturday evening in June. Mr. Bankman-Fried saw the message around 11 p.m. after playing padel, a tennis-like sport, with colleagues. He jumped into his Toyota Corolla with fellow FTX executive Ramnik Arora, turned on the air conditioning and returned the call.

BlockFi was essentially a crypto bank, taking deposits and lending them to borrowers that use the funds for trading purposes. In return, depositors earned interest on their digital money—usually at much higher rates than traditional banks offered on dollar deposits. BlockFi and other crypto lenders did brisk business until May, when the swift collapse of two cryptocurrencies called TerraUSD and Luna sent shock waves through the market and blew up hedge fund Three Arrows Capital Ltd., one of the biggest borrowers in crypto.

Fears of a 2008-style financial contagion spread. On June 12, a popular crypto lender called Celsius Network LLC suspended withdrawals. Other lenders, including BlockFi and Voyager, were threatened with the crypto equivalent of a run on the bank.

The crash set off rounds of calls into FTX’s headquarters in the Bahamas. Around 15 crypto firms sought money from FTX during a two-week stretch in June, including “miners” who run computer algorithms to generate bitcoin, as well as Celsius itself, Mr. Arora recalled.

Celsius, which has since filed for bankruptcy, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

FTX concluded that Celsius was beyond saving, FTX executives said, but that BlockFi was healthier. Following a Sunday morning Zoom meeting with BlockFi’s leadership on June 19, the day after the initial call from his car, Mr. Bankman-Fried decided to push for a deal.

By throwing BlockFi a lifeline, Mr. Bankman-Fried also seized the opportunity to expand his empire.

In the final deal unveiled on July 1, FTX agreed to loan BlockFi $400 million with an option to buy the firm for up to $240 million. That price is a steal compared with the $4.75 billion valuation that BlockFi reached in July 2021, according to PitchBook data.

“It’s certainly not the outcome that we were expecting last summer,” BlockFi CEO Zac Prince said, but he called the FTX deal a win for the company and its clients. Unlike other offers BlockFi received, which could have forced BlockFi’s retail customers to lose part of their deposits, the FTX transaction was designed to keep depositors whole.

BlockFi says it has more than 650,000 funded accounts. If FTX ends up buying BlockFi, it will expand into the lending market, adding the crypto version of a big bank to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s portfolio.

Mr. Bankman-Fried says he wants to turn FTX into a sort of financial supermarket, offering everything from lending to stock trading to payments.

“The idea generating this is, ‘What do you actually want to do with your money, as the typical consumer? What are the things that are actually valuable for your day-to-day life?’ ” he said.

Sam Bankman-Fried owns FTX, a major crypto exchange, and Alameda Research, a trading firm.

During the recent downturn, he attempted to bail out two crypto lenders, BlockFi and Voyager, by loaning them money from FTX and Alameda, respectively.

FTX also acquired two crypto exchanges—Liquid and Bitvo—expanding into Japan and Canada, respectively.

FTX has invested in non-crypto companies too, such as U.S. stock exchange operator IEX, as it expands into other markets.

Mr. Bankman-Fried has also invested personally in Robinhood Markets and a media startup, Semafor.

Mr. Bankman-Fried is a longtime vegan. He majored in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for quantitative-trading giant Jane Street Capital for three years before diving into crypto. He is the son of two professors at Stanford Law School.

Bloomberg recently estimated his net worth at $11.9 billion, down from nearly $26 billion last year before the crypto crash. He is an adherent of effective altruism, a philosophical movement that says individuals should maximize their positive impact on society by making substantial money and giving it away. His favored causes include pandemic prevention and preventing artificial intelligence from harming humanity.

People close to him express surprise at how naturally Mr. Bankman-Fried became a public figure. He has become a regular in Washington, testifying before Congress, promoting FTX’s agenda and lobbying for the crypto industry.

“He has had to transition from talking to a purely crypto audience to dealing with lawmakers, journalists and the public,” said Chris McCann, a partner at Race Capital, an early investor in FTX. “In 2019 he didn’t have a lot of those skill sets. He was much more of a shy, quirky, geeky person.”

The Albany resort in the Bahamas, where Mr. Bankman-Fried lives with housemates.Mr. Bankman-Fried’s first headquarters was a rented house in Berkeley, Calif., where he started Alameda Research in 2017—outfitted with desks and computers bought on Amazon. He later moved Alameda to Hong Kong, where crypto regulation was lighter than in the U.S.

Alameda sought to capture profits from the bitcoin market, where a mishmash of exchanges enabled arbitrage opportunities—the ability to buy a coin in one location and sell it elsewhere for more. One early strategy involved buying bitcoin in the U.S. and then selling it in Japan, where it commanded a premium.

He launched FTX in 2019, betting that his team could build a better exchange than the incumbents. Last year, amid mounting scrutiny of crypto by global regulators, Mr. Bankman-Fried decided to move FTX’s headquarters to the Bahamas, where the government had established a crypto-friendly regulatory regime.

Today FTX is based in an office park ringed by palm trees and dominated by a sun-baked parking lot. Mr. Bankman-Fried lives in a nearby luxury apartment complex. Although he has a reputation for living frugally—he has long lived with housemates and often sleeps on a beanbag at work—real-estate records show a unit of FTX paid $30 million for a five-bedroom penthouse there.

Mr. Bankman-Fried said he’s one of 10 FTX colleagues who share the apartment. “Obviously, it would be a ridiculous place for me to be living alone,” he said.

‘Salvage our business’

FTX expanded earlier this year by acquiring Japanese crypto exchange Liquid, which was hit by a $97 million hack in August 2021.

Shortly after the hack, Seth Melamed, then a Liquid executive, was getting on a plane to Tokyo. Liquid faced insolvency, customers were angry, and Mr. Melamed worried that Japanese police might arrest him at the airport. He wrote to Mr. Bankman-Fried on the Telegram messaging app.

His note read: “Fully understand this unusual, but if FTX would consider investing or acquiring Liquid it would salvage our business and benefit the crypto community more broadly.”

The plane had no Wi-Fi. When it landed, he was relieved to find no police waiting for him and a response from Mr. Bankman-Fried: “happy to take a look!”

A few days later, FTX agreed to loan Liquid $120 million, keeping it afloat and setting the stage for the takeover.

It wasn’t an entirely smooth acquisition. FTX ended up losing thousands of Japanese customers who were already using FTX and refused to move over to the local unit regulated by Japan’s Financial Services Agency, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Melamed, now chief operating officer of FTX Japan, said, “We are confident we can return to previous levels of activity by Japanese users at FTX before the end of this year and surpass this by 2023.”

In June, FTX agreed to buy Canadian crypto exchange Bitvo Inc. FTX has also amassed licenses to provide financial services in Australia, Dubai and the European Union as part of an international push.

FTX broke ground on a new headquarters, expected to cost more than $50 million and to include a boutique hotel, in April.FTX’s ambitions extend to traditional markets. After buying a registered U.S. brokerage firm last year, it recently allowed American customers to trade stocks on its app alongside bitcoin. In May, Mr. Bankman-Fried spent $648 million of his personal fortune to buy a 7.6% stake in Robinhood Markets Inc.,maker of the popular trading app. He revealed his purchase after Robinhood stock plunged nearly 80% from its initial public offering; the shares have edged slightly higher since then.

Mr. Bankman-Fried is the majority owner of both FTX and Alameda, an arrangement that has drawn criticism from crypto skeptics as well as some digital-currency traders. In traditional markets such as stocks and futures, exchanges are required to be neutral platforms that don’t benefit one trader over another. Regulators discourage them from being intertwined with trading firms, considering it a conflict of interest. No such restrictions exist in crypto.

Mr. Bankman-Fried said Alameda doesn’t get special privileges on FTX. While it was initially a major participant on FTX, helping to juice trading activity, it has since dropped to a small share of trading volumes, he said.

Last year Mr. Bankman-Fried resigned from his role as CEO of Alameda, saying he was spending most of his time on FTX. The firm continues to generate significant profits for him. One cryptocurrency wallet controlled by Alameda—where the firm holds some of its funds—has generated more than $550 million in trading profits since 2020, according to Nansen, a blockchain analytics firm.

FTX amassed a war chest of some $2 billion in a series of funding rounds in 2021 and early 2022, while crypto prices were still high. Investors in FTX included established asset managers such as Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The funding allowed FTX to make acquisitions after crypto crashed.

Mr. Bankman-Fried said that FTX has a few billion in cash that it could use for other deals—money it keeps in dollars, not crypto.

—Megumi Fujikawa contributed to this article.

Source: https://cialisbbv.com/the-30-year-old-spending-1-billion-to-save-crypto/

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AIDEC Consultancies International & Academic City sign MoU to deepen practical AI knowledge

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The teams from AIDEC and ACity in a group photograph

Africa Integrated Development and Communications Consultancies (AIDEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Academic City University College (ACity) to provide practical knowledge in areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

The MoU was executed on behalf of the two organizations represented by Mr. Ambrose Yennah, Executive Chairman of AIDEC and Professor Fred McBagonluri, President, and Provost of ACity.

Executive Chairman for AIDEC Consultancies, Ambrose Yennah, said: “the agreement seeks to provide students with practical hands-on-training in Data Science, Machine Learning, Robotics and other advanced technological training in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas of STEAM needed to efficiently work in the job market.”

He said the MoU is a private sector initiative between the two organizations to compliment government’s effort at digitalization and will enable them to collaborate with other Consortium Partners for the roll out of several Digital Solutions and Services.

“The agreement will include but not limited to the study and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, Robotics, Data Science, Machine Learning, Business Process Outsourcing Services (BPO) with specific focus on the health, and Educational Sectors including Executive Training for the Country Ghana and scaling up to the continent of Africa in the near-term,” he added.

President and Provost of ACity, Professor Fred McBagonluri, said the MoU will help in developing ready job skills by providing access to AI programmes that would help student use technology to pursue research initiatives that is focused on solving the needs of the society.

“The MoU, as part of its objectives, agree to establish, implement and create an enabling environment for students to engage in research and practical consulting assignments as a collaboration between industry and other academic institutions for practical, hands-on training, research, and fieldwork for their mutual good,” he said.

The Consortium Partners, he added, will provide top notch business, educational and technology solutions and services including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform as a virtual and open educational resource facility to our target customers in the public, private and third sectors.

AIDEC and ACity in collaboration with other Consortium Partners will identify projects ideas and invest in them to generate employment in IT/Digital Solutions and Services and generate income for the Consortium Partners whilst providing an avenue for upgrading the skills and competencies of students with creative and innovative technologies that will expose and prepare them for the job market including Students exchange programs for practical hands-on training, research and fieldwork.

The Consortium Partners agree to work to improve and expand their Institutional capacities in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Data Science, Machine learning including online learning platforms and programs to whip up the interest of students enrolling for higher education for STEAM, SparX leaning Xperience and other competency-based professional training programs for an all-inclusive digital transformation.

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Can you fly with Delta 8 Gummies?

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Considering taking your Delta 8 Gummies on your next trip? But worried if it’s legit or if there are some unknown laws airlines companies have stated somewhere and you have no idea about them. US domestic flights allow flyers to carry delta 8 gummies that are legalized under the Farm Bill. However, this is not the case for overseas flights. Continue reading to know much more. (more…)

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Episode 33 on StudentOfLife Podcast is all about ‘Manifestation’

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Understanding the true laws and principles of it, realising that it is not simply about visualising and saying affirmations, write stuff down and it simply appears with time! It’s deeper than that. Understand the law of energy(chakras), law of vibration and governing your surrounds is key. Akosua Peprah is not telling you what you want to hear, but what you NEED to hear and the hidden truths of manifestation. (more…)

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Top Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Gambling Site

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Gambling sports

Over the past few decades, the online casino market has witnessed a record-breaking boom. Gamers and gamblers alike started to prefer it as a form of entertainment. Since everyone has instant access to mobile technologies, you can access your favorite casino any time of the day. 

Anyone can open a branch or work as an affiliate partner in the gambling industry; it is no longer a restricted industry. As a result of fierce competition, users have to be more careful. They now must watch out for fraudsters and stay away from scam websites. Here is a criterion to help you pick the best online casino.

Pay Attention to User Testimonials

A trustworthy betting site will have a lot of reviews. To determine the platform’s dependability, most reviews must be favorable. The options for gamblers to read reviews and spot a reputable site are plentiful, ranging from a variety of apps to mobile-optimized websites like the featured sites on legitgamblingsites.com. Based on the reviews, one can choose whether to register and start using the platform.

Regulations and Licenses for Online Casinos


Verify the presence of gambling seals of permission to ensure that your chosen platform is regulated correctly. Typically, information about them appears at the bottom of the webpage. Each gaming company needs to be registered and granted a license by reputable administrative bodies to operate in a specific market like;

  •       The UK Gambling Commission
  •       The Alderney Gambling Control Commission
  •       The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority

Before registering, consider a casino’s legislation and ensure they are licensed. 

Read Also: Gambling Laws Across Africa

Adaptability to Your Betting Aim


An online gambling site must satisfy your needs and goals. Check to see if it offers the sports you want to wager on. Knowing which forms of payment the website accepts would also be beneficial. Settle for one that accepts your most convenient payment option. 

Keep an eye out for the site’s policies and procedures and any bonuses that may be available. Checking whether the platform is accessible from a mobile device is an additional factor you should consider. It would be helpful if you could use the platform whenever and wherever you want. Therefore, look for a mobile-friendly platform with a website or mobile application.

Customer Support Center


Once in a while, questions and inconveniences always arise, whether you’re a high roller or a novice. It can be concerning the rules of a particular game, where to find your favorite live casino table, and which payment methods are accepted where you live. Having someone available to help you right away is beneficial.

The top gaming platforms work hard to give their users prompt, efficient support. They even use it in their advertisements to persuade the audience that they deserve their trust.

An absence of live chat or an abnormally low response time could be a red flag. Although it’s not always the case, scammers don’t make significant investments because their income is uncertain.

Final Thoughts
Playing at a reputable casino is truly a unique experience. Players have access to jackpots and great bonuses for more elevated gaming. You can make the best decision for choosing the best online gambling site through the above pointers.  

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How To Make Your Followers Feel Special On Instagram

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gain more instagram followers

Instagram is a great platform when it comes to growth. Whether you’re an influencer looking to build your brand or a business hoping to increase conversions and bring in more customers, you should definitely be using Instagram as part of your social media strategy.

However, it’s not just about “using” Instagram. You’ve also got to find a way to make your Instagram followers feel special; after all, if they feel like you’re treating them poorly or if they don’t feel welcome or valued, then they might decide that you’re not worth the effort in a crowded market. Here’s how to make your followers feel special on Instagram.

Read Also: Instagram Username Ideas For Girls 2022

Engage with them

While it’s perfectly fine to use services like Social Followers Free to net yourself a big Instagram follower count, keeping those followers around is quite another matter. After all, if you don’t talk to your followers, then how can you expect them to feel respected or involved in your process?

That’s why you need to reach out to your followers and engage with them. When you receive comments, make sure to comment back and reply to your commenters. Say something that’s specific to the comment and show interest in your followers’ lives; you’d be amazed at the positive effect this can have.

Ask for engagement

When you post on Instagram, you can make your followers feel special simply by asking them for their opinions on what you’re doing. At the end of every post, ask a specific question that pertains to the content you’ve created and involves your followers in some way.

For example, let’s say you’ve just posted something about gaming-related equipment. At the end of your post, you could ask something like “what’s your favourite mechanical gaming keyboard? Let’s talk about it!”. This will incentivise your followers to reply to you and talk to you, thus making them feel more valued and special.

Show them the real you

As a platform, Instagram has come under very understandable fire for what many commenters have described as a lack of reality. Influencers will make themselves look unrealistically attractive or wealthy in order to shore up followers and create an aspirational aesthetic, when this isn’t how they really live.

As such, you can make your followers feel special by showing them who you really are. Don’t change the way you behave or the way you live “for the ‘gram”; don’t pretend to be richer than you really are, and don’t heavily rely on filters and airbrushing when you’re posting pictures. This will make your followers feel like they’re really talking to you and not a social media construction.

Hop into your followers’ comments

Nothing makes a follower more delighted than when they see a comment from you popping up on one of their posts. If your followers are active on Instagram, then why not check out their content and post comments on it? This will encourage them to comment back, and it will make them feel like you really do care about them.

Some of your Instagram followers may even be budding influencers themselves, and if they are, then it’ll boost their profile even more to comment on their stuff, especially if you’re more well-known than they are. There really is no downside to checking out some of your followers’ content and commenting on it.

Create content with your followers

Following on from the above, if some of your followers are budding social media influencers, then why not reach out to see if they want to create some content with you? If their style and goals align with yours, then it could be a very rewarding exercise – both creatively and in terms of followers – to create content with them.

Of course, you should make sure you’re picking the right collaborators before you decide to create content with them. Check out their content first to make sure it works alongside your style. Everyone’s doing their own thing on Instagram, so if your vibe doesn’t work with someone else’s, it doesn’t mean anything about the content you’re both creating.

Listen to what your followers are saying

It’s always a good idea to keep your ear to the ground when it comes to comments your followers are making on your content. If you notice certain trends in what they’re saying – if they’re making suggestions about what kind of content they want to see from you, for example – then you should be listening to those trends.

You don’t need to let comments and followers dictate what you do entirely, though. After all, if you only did what others told you to do, then you’d stand to lose the thing that made you special in the first place. Finding a healthy balance between pleasing your followers and making sure you’re happy in yourself is the ideal when it comes to content creation.

Hold contests and giveaways

Hey, everyone likes free stuff, right? One of the best ways you can make your Instagram audience feel special is to hold contests and giveaways offering them the chance to win things. If you’re an influencer partnered with brands, then why not work with those brands to coordinate a giveaway for your followers?

Conversely, if you’re a brand looking to shore up an authentic following on Instagram, then holding giveaways and contests is an excellent way to do that. It shows that you have a lot of faith in your product and that you’re happy for people to try it out and see for themselves how high-quality it is.

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Video Of Visual Display Network Celebrating TV Personality Selly Galley On Her Birthday Goes Viral

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On the 25th of September 2022, Ghanaian Actress and TV Personality, Selly Galley celebrated her birthday which she dubbed the “Sellybration”.

Digital Marketer Gorbachev Awuah and his team at the Visual Display Network (VDN) surprised her with some meals and products from some of their Clients and Brands they represent.

The Visual Display Network (VDN) Team wanted to “Sellybrate” her and another year under her belt. Clients and Brands that VDN has and affiliates with all came through to make the day a wonderful one.

Kasapereko Company Limited provided some packs of Stormz Energy Drink as well as some Puma Drinks and Awake Mineral Water. Kubs Original Provided a box of their well knows Boffrot puff puff mix. Perfect Touch Restaurant, Porkytos, Liquid & Grills Restaurant, and Tempo De Dio all also provided the best meals on their menu.

Selly Galley and her husband Prayetiatia showed so much appreciation to Visual Display Network (VDN) and all their Clients and Brands they work with and also stated that they made their day.

The video of Digital Marketer Gorbachev Awuah and his Team delivering the meals and products to her has since gone viral.

We applaud the Visual Display Network (VDN) Team for the great work they’re doing in the industry.

Instagram – @vdngroup

TikTok       – @vdngroup

Twitter      – @vdn_group

Facebook – @vdngroup

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